Aged Mental Health (65+)

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 Key factors that can contribute to one’s mental health.
 What you can do to stay well and have a fulfilling life while growing older.
 Signs and symptoms that someone may need support.
 Helpful links.

Older people provide valuable and diverse contributions to every aspect of our society. The ‘aged’ population covers an age range of about 40 years and is one our country’s largest demographics.

Our mental health needs and issues change in the various stages of our lives. People in the later years of life often experience a range of events that can have both positive and negative effects on their lives, and many of these experiences may require extra attention to self-care or supports from family members, friends or professionals.

Key factors that can contribute to one’s mental health

  • a secure home
  • connection to others
  • physical, emotional and intellectual health and wellness
  • having good relationships with family and friends
  • loss of a loved one, or friend
  • retirement
  • financial wellbeing
  • feeling valued and having valued roles in society
  • caring for someone else
  • personal attitudes
  • staying open to new ideas and learning new things
  • spiritual beliefs
  • eating healthy foods
  • staying active
  • getting quality sleep
  • limiting alcohol if you drink
  • limiting nicotine if you smoke

What you can do to stay well and have a fulfilling life while growing older?

  • make sure you stay on top of your physical health needs
  • have regular health checks early diagnosis is important
  • let your medical health professionals know if you are concerned about medication or you are experiencing unwanted side effects
  • try to stay connected with your family and friends
  • understand that grief is a natural process and requires time; however be aware of the signs when grief can evolve into depression
  • seek treatment and support when needed
  • get involved in your community (volunteer; join a special interest group; etc.)
  • try learning and experiencing new things
  • have a retirement plan
  • seek financial support if needed
  • if you are retired continue to have valued activity in your life
  • if you are experiencing mental or emotional distress, such as depression or anxiety be sure to seek help
  • ensure that you have documented your wishes and desires for treatment if something should happen
  • try to maintain a positive attitude towards life

Signs and symptoms that someone may need support.

(This list is not conclusive. If you or someone you care about is experiencing something that is causing them concern contact your GP or specialist.)

In the case of an emergency call 000

  • fixation on death, suicidal comments, thoughts, or attempts
  • prolonged sadness, feelings of hopelessness and lack of energy
  • excessive worrying or anxiety
  • undiagnosed psychical symptoms
  • fatigue, oversleeping, sleep disturbance, lack of sleep
  • isolation, reduced lack of engagement with family, friends or the community
  • withdrawal or losing interest in things they once enjoyed
  • aggravation or unexplained irritable behaviours
  • increase use of alcohol or other drugs, including prescription medications not under the direction of their prescribing doctor
  • memory problems

Are you an older person who is being bullied?

Bullying in older persons is not uncommon. Anyone can bully another person. Seniors can be bullied by others living in retirement communities or homes. Older persons can also be bullied by care givers paid or unpaid. Sometimes even by their own family.

*If someone you know is being bullied and cannot advocate for themselves, talk to them and see if the need you to seek help on their behalf.

You can call Senior Rights Victoria 1300 368 821

Helpful links

For regional services near you, please use the Directory of the Service Finder Tool on this website.

Beyond blue www.beyondblue.org.au/resources/for-me/older-people
Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of Victoria (information and assistance for aged Victorians) (03) 9662 3971

Council on Ageing (03) 9654 4443 www.cotavic.org.au
My Aged Care 1800 200 422 www.myagedcare.gov.au
Help Guild www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-in-older-adults-and-the-elderly.htm
Home at Last 1300 765 178
Housing for Aged action Group (03) 9654 7389
Life Assist 1300 277 487 www.lifeassist.org.au
Senior Card Victoria 1300 797 210
Senior Information Victoria 1300 135 090
Senior Rights Victoria 1300 368 821 (free legal advice and information)
The Better Health Channel www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au
The Salvos 13 72 58 www.salvos.org.au
U3A University of the Third Age (further learning for people 50+) (03) 9769 9732 www.u3aonline.org.au/find-a-u3a

Bullying Zero Australia 1800 028 559 www.bzaf.org.au
Reach out www.au.reachout.com
Lifeline 13 11 14